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GAA 2019 Symposium

21-22 April 2019

In association with Gemboree 2019 Rockhampton Showgrounds 19-22 April (Easter)

Purpose is to create a great event in the gemmological calendar to add value to membership, increase profile and shine a light on how gemmology helps Lapidaries round Australia


Optional tour of the Gemboree and see their workshops and movies.


Dinner with Gemboree 2019 Trophy night.

A message from the president about GAA to all the participants.

A Raffle and silent Auction.

Join one session or all the sessions on TryBooking:


21 April 2019

11.00am-12.00pm Speaker: Ian Bone. Gem Merchant, Lapidarist
Topic: Responsible and ethical jewellery incorporating sustainable mining practices
Food within Gemboree setting
1.30pm-2.30pm Speaker: Grant Hamid, Gemmologist and Valuer
Topic: The Corundum conundrum. History of sapphires and it’s treatments.
2.45pm-3.45pm Speaker: Darren Arthur, Gemmologist and Lapidarist
Topic: Rinbow Lattice Sunstone
4.00pm-5.00pm Speaker: Jenny Brammall. Gemmologist
Topic : Lightening Ridge Opal and what you did not know.

22nd April 2019

11.00am-12.00pm Speaker: Rod Beatie Gemmologist and Lapidarist.
Topic: TBA
Food within Gemboree setting
1.30pm-2.30pm Speaker: Laura Phillis. FGAA
Topic: Colour, how, why and where?
2.45pm-3.45pm Speaker: Stacey Lim FGAA BA Design
Topic: Rinbow Lattice Sunstone
4.00pm-5.00pm Speaker: TBA
Topic : TBA



Book on TryBooking:


$25 per individual lecture or $90 per day and $160 for two days



Ian Bone

Living in Central Queensland as a young boy Ian visited the sapphire fields with his father and learned to fossick for the gemstone. Ian also learned how to both facet and cab gemstones at an early age.

Ian’s has an undergraduate degree in Arts/Business and a postgraduate MBA. His education, skills and competencies in leadership, strategy, marketing, training, instruction and teaching give him the capability to help people achieve their personal and professional goals. When Ian was in his mid 30’s he was appointed to a senior leadership and teaching role at CQ University, while there he undertook the MBA study program.

After leaving CQU Ian established a consulting business, helping small business, NFP organisations and sporting clubs achieve their business and development goals. Ian’s career has primarily been in positions of senior management, leadership in human service organisations, business consulting and that of a professional Yacht Captain.

Since 2010 Ian has been a gemstone market development consultant, gem collector, gem cutter, and involved in the marketing and promotion of Central Queensland Gemstones. Ian has been working with Central Queensland gemstone producers to market, promote and sell their gem products. His goal is to help Central Queensland gemstone producers to reach their potential opening up new markets using new technologies and marketing initiatives.

Ian is a member of lapidary clubs both in Queensland and in Florida. He enjoys collecting and cutting gemstones and promoting Queensland gemstones to the world.

Jenni Brammall,
Manager Australian Opal Centre

Jenni Brammall has been manager of Australian Opal Centre / Lightning Ridge Opal and Fossil Centre since 2004. She has overseen the project’s development from an ambitious dream to a substantial reality; and from local government seed funding to a self-funding enterprise with diverse stakeholders, activities and assets. Jenni has fostered relationships with other organisations in the opal, gemstone industry, tourism, scientific research, education, museum and cultural sectors; developed and implemented AOC programs; and applied for, managed and acquitted local, NSW and Federal government grant-funded projects for the AOC.

Jenni is a palaeontologist, gemmologist, opal valuer, and a valuer of fossils and opal-related items for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Her professional background includes postgraduate research and fieldwork in vertebrate palaeontology; scientific photography; scientific research assistant and university tutor; journalism, event management, exhibition development, opal cutting and carving; jewellery design, opal sales and marketing, photography, writing, graphic design and publication.

A former board member of Lightning Ridge Tourism Association, Jenni has involvement with many community organisations. She currently sits on the Reserve Trust for Lightning Ridge Historical Reserve, is a member of the Opal Committee of the Gemmological Association of Australia, a Life Member of Lightning Ridge Historical Society, a Life Member and Founder of the AOC, and serves on the editorial committee of The Australian Gemmologist.

Rod Beattie

Rod has done extensive restoration and research on the Thai-Burma Railway, including the POWs that worked on the railway.

An important part of the work that I have done over the years is to take former PoWs or their families back to their areas of work on the railway. Originally this was done voluntarily but has now become an important part of TBRC's operation. As time allows I also continue to search for particular areas of interest along the abandoned railway and uncover many wartime artifacts and stories.

Due to Rod’s dedication and accomplishments he has been formally recognised by the Dutch Queen and appointed a Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau. Also presented with the Order of Australia Medal and
made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

At the end of June 2013 I retired after eighteen years as manager of the war cemeteries in Thailand to allow me to commit more time to TBRC, the increasing number of families wishing to make pilgrimages along the railway and to the ongoing research into PoWs.

Rod continues in his spare time to buy, sell and cut gems with Capricorn Gems. 

Laura Phillis

Laura has been working in the jewellery industry for over 9 years, and graduated her gemmology diploma in 2014. She is the owner of Tatum Gems and has been professionally cutting gemstones for 5 years, trained in both specialist repair work and custom cutting across all gemstone materials, including most recently, learning diamond cutting. Laura has been a proud lecturer and Education Officer for the GAA for the past 3 years, as well as being one of the Federal Directors of the organisation. She was most recently one of 12 lapidarists invited to participate in the Lapidary Extravaganza from Somewhere In The Rainbow at the 2019 Tucson show. 

How Gemmology has helped me as a gem cutter.

What is a good cut and how does it influence the appearance of a gem? Understanding the fundamentals of how light reacts with a stone, and why some stones are darker or lighter, or why some even show 2 or 3 colours, all play a role in deciding how to cut a gemstone to its best advantage. Gemmology has also helped me to Identify other important features such as cleavage planes, crystal shapes and treatments which are just as important when choosing the most suitable cut for a stone. This presentation will cover some of the basics to identify for cutters, buyers, and all round gem enthusiasts.

Stacey Lim

Stacey Lim has been in the industry since 2008, working as a graphic designer and then jewellery designer. 

My love of gemstones began as a sparkle- obsessed toddler with a knack for filling my pockets with rocks at every opportunity. My passion for jewellery was ignited at the age of 7 when my family moved to Dubai for a few months and regular visits to the gold souks and artisan markets opened my eyes to the beauty of gemstones and the craft of jewellery making. 

I am a gemmologist, designer, writer, cheese aficionado, cat owner, resourceful, creative minded, jewellery hoarder, pyrite collector, and passionate communicator on all things gemmology and jewellery.